I am not sure it is possible with our forums software, but if possible it would be great I think.
I mean we got so many spammers and trolls on forums lately, it's really annoying. Until newbies meet both time registered and number of hubs requirement, let them post in one special forum only, and not contaminate the whole board.
It would definitely need to be time-based and not hub based. I just visited someone who was new to the Hub, I think just yesterday and was blown away that they already had a ton of published Hubs in a matter of single digit days...
I also know that we have some great writers who have very few published Hubs... and yet, they are very active in other ways:-)
Have YOU met any of these?
Definitely - time based, say 30 days? Just a suggestion.
But still, if someone is NEW, this is when they need help more than anyone. Look at me... Two months in, and really this is when the learning really begins!
Let me just say... when I signed up here... I was, and still am, merely a child,when it comes to online writing. I had no idea all the pitfalls...
Hub Pages, does not say anything about needing to be an expert writer when they market for us to come on board. If so... then I missed that one:-)
PUBLISH YOUR PASSION IN SECONDS! WHOOPEE...
So, this is a bit tricky really... Those of you, who have been around the block, have an expectation for those who just walked out the front door... NEW YORK CITY!
Be careful as to just how far we want to raise the bar... before many will just crawl under it and go elsewhere... you know.
I would say... that being more user friendly is the way to go. Sometimes, those at the 'top', have no tolerance for those that they feel are not in their same league.
There are some great mentors here... but others that 'know' feel that others should get things that are in their minds easily understood... heaven forbid continued questioning until understanding is had.
On the troll thing. Of course I know where this is coming from... duh? LOL
Honestly Misha, I was happy to see a few trolls... (don't start the other subject - done) But... this is all about perspective. We see others as 'trolls' that do not 'troll' our cause.
Blunt, huh? Now you know:-)
I do like the idea, of creating a place for 'newbies' who others might consider dense... perspective again. Maybe it is the other way around on occasion, although, this is probably a blasphemous suggestion.
Enough ramblings... this could be another of my epistles if I get carried away.
Sorry for contaminating the board. I'll leave immediately.
To the moderator: feel free to delete my posts.
The idea has merit...but I know it would have frustrated me to no end.
I do my best to avoid being a troll, though.
Would something like that limit them on the rest of the site or just the forums?
Misha - I agree, but I think it's unworkable - these people will just be more careful - like many of the spammers are - to just barely meet the minimum requirements because they do not feel that rules apply to them.
We are not going to be able to stop the trolls or the spammers this way.
The problem is, that those who continue to question until understanding is had are not ACTUALLY looking for understanding - they just want their question to be seen as though it was gospel and think that if they KEEP ON ASKING OVER AND OVER eventually the person doing the answering will give up and say - "OK, we'll do it your way instead"
Invariably, they are the ones questioning the rules of hubpages because they do not wish to follow them - why would they want to follow this one?
Unfortunately, what they are doing is scaring away the knowledge base and pushing those who have some experience and understanding away from helping or getting involved.
I mean how one earth does it make sense to ask a the same question over and over and then argue with the person giving them the answer? Especially when the answers are WRITTEN DOWN - and some of the people doing the answering are the owners of hubpages.
Some of these same people will, of course, welcome the trolls, because it gives them the opportunity to ask their friends to join in, or add new user names of their own, so it looks as though there are more people involved in the argument and if they have enough of these "troll" personas - they can KEEP ON SAYING THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER and eventually, that's all you are left with.
The other problem is - they BELIEVE and will not rest until YOU BELIEVE TOO !
They are not interested in any other opinions or ideas - regardless of how logical and sensible they are.
Personally, I think the flagging system to get regurgitated rubbish off the site is the best deterrent to these people. They cannot accept that a hub about whatever their ridiculous beliefs are could possibly have a lower hubscore than another hub. How on earth could THE TRUTH have a lower score than something else ? - it just doesn't make any sense to them and they will never understand.
Watch out, Mark, you'll get sucked in to the vortex again!
Dignified refusal to engage is the go, I reckon.
With regard to a sandbox, maybe we should come at it the other way - have a Forum that is just for people with over 20 Hubs and an average Hub Score over 50, or whatever it is to reach that big middle category.
That one Forum will be a haven from spammers, trolls and repeats of newbie questions, and you browse the rest of the Forums at your own risk.
It's always better to give new people something to aspire to than to start by excluding them from everything, IMHO.
This is a good idea. If it happens I'll have to get my butt in gear and write 6 more hubs. Hey, look, it's motivational as well!
Hubscore would definitely have to be a factor too. You are right about that. There are so many intelligent people here with interesting and diverse views it would be nice if we could actually engage in a good spirited debate from time to time.
Oh, and doghouse - I am sorry I snapped at you in the other thread.
Thanks Inspirepub but I think(looking at my own tally) that the limit should be 10 hubs.
Hmmm, worth discussing how to set the limit - I just went off the author categories, 0-19 is the first rung, 20-99 is the second, and so on. I have no idea how they chose those levels to begin with.
I didn't even know we had rungs, or a ladder!
O.K. I'll throw up some more hubs (see if they stick)
I like this idea a lot. One of the writer's forums I visit does a version of this. New members can visit a few general boards, (in our case it would be Help from Fellow Hubbers) but they can't read/post on the other boards until they have been an active member (with over 20 decent posts) for a certain amount of time. Obviously, on Hubpages it would make more sense to base it on how many hubs someone writes. But this way, beginners can still get help and introduce themselves, but one would have to be actually producing quality hubs to get to be involved in the other boards.
It might be a lot of work to make something like this happen, though.
Apology accepted. I just considered the source, living in France you might be French. I hope you too, can take a joke.
livelonger - my pleasure - just trying to lighten things up a little
In The Doghouse - even worse - English, but joke away, if I don't like it, I'll colonize your country and ....Oh wait, we already did that
I like the ideas presented so far about a sandbox of sorts, as well as perhaps a forum section for writers who have crossed over the "learning to walk" stage and have more than 20 hubs. I do not think, though, that we should close the whole board down to newbies, as the categories present are pretty straight forward. Here's what I'm thinking:
Keep the Hubber's Hangout as a place for those who have passed the 20 hub mark.
Create a new forum section and call it something which will catch the eye of everyone with noob questions.
Sift a few of the important topics which detail more of the FAQ material and such into the newbie forum area, and then someone can make an "introduce yourself" type thread.
The reason I suggest an introduction thread is because I think having a thread like that would draw in people whose first post on the forum is "OMG look at my cool hub! Hubpages is teh best!!!1!!oneeleven"
Much as I like this idea - I don't think it's practical - I can create 20 "hubs" in the next two minutes
# of Hubs + minimum Hub Author score of, say, 75, maybe?
Although, this makes it even more complicated....
I would rather see a minimum average Hub Score than a minimum author score. I think the score on each Hub is a better measure of the quality of a person's Hubs than the author score, which includes things other than the Hubs themselves.
For example, you can boost your author score by flagging other people's Hubs - do we really want to get undesirables racing around doing THAT to try to get their author score up?
All the ideas here are excellent I think, but we have a problem - we do not have confirmation from the staff that this is at least theoretically possible. If it is not - we can discuss this as long as we wish - with zero outcome
I am eager to see a response from Paul if it is at all possible - and then I will be happy to discuss details...
I did not mean personally you - and you know this As well as I didn't mean many other newbies who post questions and interact in a normal way.
Unfortunately, we got a tsunami wave of people who sign up just to spam or troll immediately - and we have to deal with that somehow...
I have no clue about this tsunami that you speak of. My interaction on the forums, prior to this last few days, has been minimal. More social... to read and learn and very occasionally, post.
How many registered Hubbers are there on HubPages? I have been curious to know this for quite sometime actually?
I ask, because there are about half a dozen people having this conversation, which 'sounds' to exclude those who are in need of learning - perhaps?.. more than anyone here.
Here is a sarcastic suggestion:
Have you thought of just asking HP for your own exclusive forum, that only the few who do not want to engage with the whole and feel a need for protection from themselves... can then retreat? It could be the TOP HUBBER HANG OUT... maybe invitation only? Or nomination? LOL
Sorry... couldn't resist a polk:-)
I am always concerned in any situation, when a few voices consider their voices to be the only ones in the room. Maybe it is not realized that this could be a possible perception.
Your counsel to the conversation, to wait upon HP for further interest in potential policy changes, shows humility versus authority. I am impressed.
Please, I mean no disrespect, but I am not sure if those currently having this conversation realize how this is coming across to those, who are 'not' on the inside... I know, because that would be me.
I do not consider myself troll... now, or two months ago when I joined HP. What does that matter? It has been made clear, that I should not feel comfortable on these forums, and yet I know it is only a few who would say such things. Thankfully, I get that.
I will not claim persecution or to be a victim, just because I am unlovable to a handful. I can take that... and yet, I will still speak. Just me.
My concern and I will speak for, most likely many.... who will not cross those here who have the appearance of authority... but often seem to feel that they do.
My one cent... bc I imagine that is all it is worth right now.... is that those who desire this exclusivity - rethink what they are desiring to perpetuate here on the hub.
Not that it does not have merit, but because of the intention behind it. We are writers here. We are opinionated and passionate people.
I will engage with those that I respect and this in turn should be the criteria that any individual communicates with another.
Too many are implying that those who are 'trolls' are controlling this place... I just don't buy it... and not because I was happy for the few at one point. But I personally do not believe in trolls... life will always have the 'peanut gallery'. Whatever.
I have found that most 'trolls' as these 'poppins' are referred to, can be quite amusing!
I think what is bothersome, perhaps, is that these voices who interrupt those who normally have the voices here... actually have legitimate concerns... they just don't coalesce with the majority. Why all these ruffled feathers because someone thinks differently that the majority here?
Because someone has an opinion that is not in agreement with a 'regular' - this does not immediately tag them, or what they say as wrong or of having no value.
I don't get that thinking. That which has merit and value... demands a response. As writers, do we not wish we could provoke that in all of our readers? In fact, it might have a leveling factor that is simply not welcome. Again... it does not make them wrong or should it threaten their right to speak out.
Why should 'regular' status, or 'value' status have anything to do... with true value of any individual? If we refer to ourselves as a community or a family... how does this attitude then create cohesiveness.
Question - How can 'worth' have anything to do with the 'worth' of a voice or a comment. It doesn't.
How could HP possibly say to someone they have 'marketed' to be here and write for them in order to receive revenue.... that your voice has 'worth' only if it has 'worth' according to 'our' scores? Sheesh. It that membership or citizenship?
I am not so sure that HP really would want to send that message. I know I would not feel much in the way of warm fuzzies here if that were to be the environment.
Does this matter? Who knows. I personally have not figured out the relationship with HP yet. I will continue family therapy...
I haven't seen a thread post that long since Mr Usher!
Though Kathryn knows how to spell.
Oh, this is nothing!
We had a beauty in the religion forum. Someone (newbie with no Hubs published) posted a list of every known parameter in the universe and the range in which that parameter would have to fall to enable life to evolve ... it was quite a long list ...
I believe the final assertion was something along the lines of "this could not possibly have happened by chance, therefore the Christians are right", although my eyes had glazed over by then, I must admit.
Said newbie then carried on the intellectual rigor by adding in their next post "God loves you. What are you afraid of?"
Some of the recent pained posts about trolls have come from various weary and battered inhabitants of the Religion forum.
And the Finance forum, and the Business forum, and the..... you get the idea.
It's certainly nice to see you can have some fun here too. I for one much prefer it if you poke fun at me in an intelligent fashion rather than share your religious beliefs
But, you seem still to be hung up on the fact that your "worth" according to the "score" is a problem.
I too feel the same frustration - I wrote what I consider to be my best hub - Top Ten American Recipes - And it consistently scores low - despite the many comments from non-trolls. It's well written, lovingly laid out, full of information and good photos. BUT - it scores lower than another one - Best Naturist Beaches in the South of France, which I wrote in an attempt to work out what does score well.
I sometimes look at that beach hub and feel like deleting it, because I really hate that one scoring higher.
Hubpages has their own agenda as far as "scores" go - which I am not privy to. Darkside has written a good hub about it, but he is not 100% sure either:
Your hubs are not "worth" any less because they have a low score. So, I seriously suggest you stop worrying about it so much. The simple fact is that your subject is never going to score higher than "Hot photos of Indian chicks in their underwear." And this gets to me too
As for the sand box -
How about a minimum number of posts in a "Newbies" forum. After a certain amount, permission can be given to enter all the other forums?
We had a discussion going here that had nothing to do with your hubs being flagged. It has nothing to do with some super-elite conspiracy to ensure that new people who actually want to learn about hubbing or get real help don't get it.
I'm sorry that you think the way you do about this meta-idea. It really isn't just about separating the folk whose score is such and such, it's about isolating the options for spammers who just come to Hubpages to post a commercial on the site, re-post it again on the forums, then never contribute further.
Everyone isn't out to 'get' everyone else. The forum is probably not the right place to be repeatedly lamenting your hub being flagged. If you keep getting a repeat flagging on one particular hub, maybe you should consider unpublishing it for a while and seeing what happens?
Anyway, have a good day all, I'm out of this thread too.
Maybe we could have a conversation about this again, but I have a feeling this idea is always going to be cried foul to and derailed.
Mr J Usher was renowned for his overly long thread posts.
And he had the typing skills of a three armed sleep deprived monkey.
Thankfully you can spell.
It's a good idea, as a writer, to say what you need to say in as few words as possible.
I haven't read your hubs, nor have I paid close attention to them.
The only mentoring I do is free advice in forum threads and also writing hubs that are aimed at helping others better understand what I think I've worked out.
OK Paul, this sounds great!
Since I've started this, let me try to summarize what suggestions we have so far.
We got two types of ideas here.
First is about what exactly we want to implement - sandbox or elite club. With elite club all forums are wide open for newcomers, except for one small zone. With sandbox all forums are closed for newcomers except for one small zone. There are examples of both on the net, successful and not so successful. Elite clubs tend to have much higher entrance barriers than sandboxes' exit barriers, and essentially divide the population into higher and lower casts.
I still think that sandbox works better in terms of cutting off the spammers and trolls. Newbies are not prohibited to post on forums, they are just restricted to one area where they can post their questions and get their answers. They have to pass a probation period, though, to become "citizens" and get access to post to the rest of forums.
With elite club you basically have most of the population (including newbies, spammers, and trolls) all over the forums, much like we have it today, and a small "reservation" where "elite" can talk without being interrupted by plebs. Not only it does not solve the current problem of having spam all over the place IMO, it also introduces some sort of hierarchy into our community - which I am not a big fan of.
Second set of ideas is on what exactly barriers we need to use to optimize the experience. Since I am not a fan of elite club, I will concentrate on sandbox barriers.
We have so far: 1. Time since registered; 2. Hubscore; 3. Number of hubs published; and 4. Number of posts on forums. Hope I did not miss anything
Time since registered seems to be the single most efficient measure in eliminating people signing up just to take part in an argument or quick spam the forums. It will make useless creating additional accounts just for that same purposes, too. I don't see any downside to it. The actual threshold should be neither too short, nor too long. I think something in the range from several days to a couple of weeks would be optimal.
Hubscore is supposed to reflect the "quality" of the hubber. I have a big problem with that measure in terms of using it here. I think it is too loosely (if at all) related to the ability of a person to communicate in forums. While it definitely will be effective in eliminating "quick spam" and "quick troll", time since registered will do this just as good and without any misunderstanding and subsequent frustration on the user part.
Number of hubs published is even more remotely related to the forums posting qualities, and can be gamed pretty easy. I suggested it, and I think I take back my suggestion - it is *not* a good measure. And yes, I am taking it back just because I have only five hubs published
Number of posts seems to be just another substitute to time since registered. With the possibility of gaming it easily. However, we can apply a twist here, that can make it pretty useful. If we take a ratio of confirmed spam/troll posts to the total number of posts, it will allow us to keep chronic spammers/trolls in the sandbox until they get better. And put them back there (or to the special spamtrolling reserve), if they get worse again...
Now, whatever we choose to implement, we need this described in the FAQ and possibly other relevant areas of the site, for newbies to easily find this info. I remember my own frustration in several cases when I got into sandboxes without any explanation, and I don't want our newbies to feel the same way.
I would generally agree, but recent (ahem) issues on the forums were exacerbated by someone who registered over two weeks ago, published zero hubs, and only visited the forums once they found a fight. I like a time + # of hubs equation. I'm rethinking my position on making hub author score part of it.
Colleen, my take on this - we can't realistically eliminate all the cases. We still will have some, and they will have to be dealt with manually.
However, we want (at least I think we want) the measures we take to:
- eliminate most of the bad cases;
- minimally (ideally not at all) affect normal users;
- be transparent so everybody understands how they work...
Number of hubs can be gamed easily. Hubscore is not transparent. Some people who created problems not long ago had plenty of hubs and good hubscore. I think ratio of bad posts to all forum posts will be much better in that sense For example, we can use the formula
100*(all posts - bad posts)/all posts
Considering a bad post being the one deleted by moderator for breaking forum rules.
This way if you don't have bad posts, your score is 100. If all your posts are bad - your score is 0! If we set a threshold at, say, 90, the guy who came here and posted a spam post will have to make 9 good posts before he/she is allowed to post freely. If he posts two bad posts, he will have to compensate with 18 good ones, etc. This is in addition to time requirement. And as we generally trust people (do we?), we can assign a score of 100 to begin with, so nobody will have to prove they are good - but as soon as those who abuse the system start posting bad posts - they get locked down in the sandbox...
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